ArcelorMittal Foundation gives hope to families in Trinidad and Tobago
|Anita and her family receiving the key to their new home|
Since becoming a partner of Habitat for Humanity, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has supported globally more than 700 families to have a safe, healthy and decent place to live.
In Trinidad and Tobago, Habitat for Humanity started working in 2011 in the city Valencia. This community is home to more than 700 residents. Many houses were built without observing safety standards. According to the Red Cross Trinidad&Tobago, more than 30 percent of them are in an inadequate condition. One of the main aims of the partnership between the ArcelorMittal Foundation and Habitat is to solve poverty housing within such communities.
Last year, Habitat Trinidad and Tobago launched a new project in the Eastern Corridor of Trinidad, working with a rural community which has traditionally depended on agriculture as its main source of income. Habitat’s aim is to support 16 families with better housing and 32 families through training on their basic construction skills. Many low-income families applied; among them was Anita McPherson’s family.
Anita, who is 70 years old, has lived for the past 33 years of her life in a ramshackle, two-room house with no electricity, rotted boards and a leaking roof. She shared it with her daughter Annalyn, 29 years old, and three grown sons. Anita is also helping to look after five grandchildren. Because of the unhealthy living conditions, her three-year old granddaughter was hospitalized with pneumonia. “This house will change my life,” says Anita, referring to her new Habitat home. She recounts her grandchildren’s frequent visits to the hospital and the illnesses of her close family members.
In March 2012, the ArcelorMittal Foundation organized the Solidarity Holidays, which brought 11 employees from around the world to join forces with 80 volunteers from the local branch of ArcelorMittal to work on the construction of two homes. One of the houses was finished by the end of the week, painted and handed over to Anita McPherson and her family in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. The local ArcelorMittal also arranged a Health Fair for the community. The Family Planning Association was invited there to provide professional health services.
Throughout the year, the ArcelorMittal Foundation funded two new bases, three sanitation units, seven house completions, two repairs and two new houses in Trinidad and Tobago. As a result, 63 people have been helped into a safe and decent shelter, 32 - trained in First Aid and 31 children now have a home from which to look into a better future.
Created in 2007, the ArcelorMittal Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on developing projects that benefit the communities in which ArcelorMittal is present. The ArcelorMittal Foundation operates in 30 countries.
Every year, the Foundation supports around 580 projects which are aimed at maximizing the potential of each community, respecting their specific needs and empowering the local resources. Furthermore, the ArcelorMittal Foundation promotes entrepreneurship by helping people to develop their own talents.
Its main areas of activity are Education, Health and Community Development. The Foundation also has a standing commitment to offer immediate and urgent help to communities affected by emergencies and promotes the participation of the ArcelorMittal employees in different social projects.